Our language talk page is for you to enjoy using to help build your vocabulary, skills and knowledge.  Subscribe to the blog and receive interesting and varied articles about the English language, British culture and what's going on in London. Read our Language Tips and pass them on to friends and colleagues, they're full of useful points.

An English Sub-Editor

The Mysterious Job of Sub-Editor


I’d like to tell you about some mysterious people who have a huge effect on us all, but about whom we know very little: sub-editors.

Categories: News Stories

From L-R: Andy, Mary, Karen, Lukasz, Brenda, Daragh

The Quality English Oxford Fun Run


I’ve been an avid runner for many years, completing marathons and half-marathons, 10km and 5km races. I try to run regularly, even when I’m away from home or on holiday. I love the feeling I get from running and the camaraderie among the runners in the big events. So when I heard about a fun run that had been organised especially for language schools, I had to get involved.

Categories: News Stories, The London School of English

snow man

Let It Snow - London Is Hit By Snow


So this morning London has been hit with the first heavy snowfall of the winter. Most students have made it to class today, although some arrived late as the blizzard has caused problems on the roads, buses and trains. The snow and the travel disruption look set to continue this evening and as a result lots of people are trying to leave work early.

Categories: London, News Stories


All hail the Prezi-dent!


He’s back. After one of the hardest fought Presidential elections in recent years, Barack Obama was re-elected back into the White House for four more years. How did he do it, and what does this mean for the world in general?

Categories: News Stories

London Riots 2

Words in the news: Looting


In our semi-regular feature on the blog, we take a look at interesting vocabulary in the news. As well as explaining what the key words mean we'll also fill you in on the background to the story. This week, we’re looking at the recent riots and looting in London and the reasons behind them.

Categories: News Stories, London

handshake 1720 wpm hires



So, a few weeks ago I told you about how much I enjoy conferences (!) and I gave you an overview of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language conference. It was such a packed few days that I only filled you in on the Saturday programme. So in this post I’m going to tell you about the sessions I attended on Sunday.

Categories: News Stories

NOTW Wordcloud

Words in the news: Phone Hacking


As part of a new series on the blog, we’ll be looking at interesting vocabulary in the news. As well as explaining what the key words mean, we'll also fill you in on the background to the story. This week, we’re looking at the Phone Hacking Scandal in the UK.

Categories: News Stories

Printing press

How to produce a soft-ground etching


At the moment I’m teaching on one of our IELTS courses so I'm thinking in an ‘IELTS’ way. For example, in Task 1 of the writing test students may have to describe a process. I do an evening class in printing and etching and I’ve written up the instructions to one of the printing techniques that we’ve looked at; producing a soft-ground etching. The picture this week shows one of the traditional printing presses that we use in my class!

The only difference between my answer and an IELTS exam answer is that I haven’t based my response on a diagram and a question. Also, my answer is almost twice as long as a Task 2 response needs to be – that’s because there are lots of stages in the process and I wanted to explain them to you! Notice the grammar – to describe a process we generally use the present simple passive.

Categories: News Stories


Exam Answer Time


A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about my group of Swiss students who are taking both the CAE and the BEC Higher exam. We are now into the third week of the course and I’m happy to say that they are still applying themselves to the course and doing well. In my previous post, I gave you all a test by strategically placing 15 gaps in the text to provide an example of a CAE exam question.

Categories: News Stories


Exam Question Time


For this week’s blog post I’m doing things slightly differently. For reasons that will become clear as you read on, today’s article is in the format of a Use of English question from the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English. There is an example for you at the beginning of the text (0).

Categories: News Stories

Watch Our Videos

Language tips and blog

Use our Language Talk page to help build your vocabulary, skills and knowledge.

Language talk

Our accreditations and memberships:

In London and Canterbury: